“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God”

Rabweh 20 September 2012

The day after the Holy Father’s visit to Lebanon, which was a constantly reiterated call for peace – “‘My peace I give unto you’” was Benedict XVI’s constant theme – His Beatitude Gregorios III, Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem tenaciously pursued his efforts and appeals for a cessation of hostilities in Syria, so opening the path to reconciliation.

Following his 27 August letter For Syria, reconciliation is the only lifeline, addressed to the Pope, cardinals, episcopal conferences, rulers and heads of state and all persons of good will, on Thursday 20 September Gregorios III received representatives of Austria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Greece and Poland, as well as a representative of Canada, in the patriarchal residence of Rabweh (Lebanon). The conversation and discussions focused on assessing the situation on the ground and means of clearing the path to reconciliation “… that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” (John 11: 52).

The Patriarch recalled the very terms of his For Syria, reconciliation is the only lifeline, saying: “We believe the role of the Church in Syria to be the sacred ministry of working for reconciliation.  ‘Blessed are the peacemakers!’ We believe that this ministry will be the warranty for Christians facing the gloomy future that dawns over Syria … because the Church’s role is to be the herald and architect of reconciliation at every level.”

Gregorios III went on to thank the President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Sleiman for all his efforts to ensure the genuine success of the Holy Father’s visit in both a spiritual and material sense. The Melkite Patriarch finally expressed a wish for all relevant texts, speeches and sermons that represent a genuine, historic pact for civilizational and interfaith dialogue, to be gathered into a single document and circulated in Arab countries via embassies and delegations.


Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Christ is Born!

Your Nativity, O Christ our God, * has dawned upon the world the light of knowledge. * for through it, those who served the stars * were taught by a star to worship You, the Sun of Righteousness * and to know You, the Dawn from on high. * Glory to You, O Lord! (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Today the Virgin gives birth to the Transcendent One, * and the earth offers a cave to the Unapproachable One. * Angels and shepherds sing His glory; * Wise Men journey with a star * for there is born for us an infant Child, the God Who is before all ages. (Kontakion, Tone 3)

Random Proverb

"One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want." (Proverbs 11:24 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Let not us who would be Christians expect anything else than to be crucified....for to be Christian is to be crucified in this time and in any time since Christ came for the first time. His life is the example and warning to us all. We must be crucified personally,mystically; for trough crucifixion is the only path to resurrection, if we would rise with Christ, we must be humbled with him even to the ultimate humiliation, being devoured and spit forth by the uncomprehending world.... We must be crucified outwardly in the eyes of the world, for Christ's kingdom is not of this world and world cannot bear it, even a single representative, even for the single moment.

Fr Seraphim Rose